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Have you (hard) refreshed your browser?

Browser on Apple Laptop image description

It’s the ‘have you turned it off and on again’ of the web design world.

I don’t know how many times in the last few weeks I have been testing the User Experience of a site or a new Content Management System (CMS) change and I don’t see what I’m expecting to see with the change.

Apparently, here in the land of web design and development in Newcastle, I am missing an important step - refreshing my browser's cache. When you visit a website, some of the site data will save locally on your computer. This is generally to increase the efficiency of the website.

What can often happen if you are constantly testing a website is that the local data associated with that site doesn’t move on quick enough when it’s old. This means when a valuable change has been made to the CSS/jQuery or the code running behind the CMS, you might not see the change immediately because your browser is still trying to show the old data.

How can you fix this, I hear you ask?

Luckily there is a solution and it is quite simple. Hold down the shift key as you click the refresh button, this tells the browser to clear the local data and pull the new site data. This is called 'hard-refreshing' your browser, and in many cases, this is the solution to your caching problems.

The trickiest part is remembering to try this solution first - before one turns around at their desk proclaiming to the web development team ‘it’s not working!’

Gets me all the time.


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